Can technology reshape luxury experience? French luxury house Chanel has teamed up with Farfetch, a global e-commerce platform, to develop digital initiatives aimed at targeting millennial consumers, including a branded app to help create personalised in-store experiences.
The team up is not a commercial arrangement, unlike the one between Burberry and Farfetch announced a few weeks ago, which sees the e-commerce platform listing and distributing goods made by the British luxury brand.
“We are not launching e-commerce and Chanel will not be selling on Farfetch. It is cooperation with the aim of enriching our clients’ experiences before and after their visit to our stores”, said the president of fashion at Chanel, Bruno Pavlovsky. However, there are Chanel goods already selling on Farfetch platform.
Technology Reshape Luxury Experience – The Case Of Chanel
Chanel, a private company that sells luxury goods in various categories such as beauty, leather goods, and eyewear, operates 192 boutiques all over the world and sells only limited numbers of items online. Farfetch was founded by the Portugal-born entrepreneur José Neves in 2008 and the agreement will strengthen Farfetch’s reputation as number one partner to luxury brands in retail tech.
“It is an innovation agreement with the aim of changing the shape of retail, and improve the outdated customer experience”, said Neves.
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For example, a client from Shanghai which spends $2m a year in a boutique there will be able to go into a store in New York and have the recognise them, know what they want, and the sizes they wear, said José Neves explaining how the Chanel app works.
Moreover, the app can be set to ‘do not disturb’ which ensures the clients are left alone when they so do wish. With a growing number of consumers shopping personal luxury goods online, retaining focus on the bricks and mortar side of the business may seem strange.
Neves disagrees: “Luxury fashion cannot be entirely digitised. Between 75-80 percent of sales are still undertaken in bricks-and-mortar stores and that won’t change in luxury.
Technology Reshape Luxury Experience – The Human Factor
The sales agents in physical stores can deliver that so much needed personalised and individually customised experience consumers cannot find online such as the story of the brand, the touch and feel of the goods, the relationship with the staff.”
He added that Farfetch would help create “a hyper personalised experience for shoppers, that will work, before and after the store visit. It will also harness those phone-based millennial clients who are driving 85 percent of the growth in the luxury market and who are currently disappointed by their bricks and mortar experience.”